Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Local Farmer’s Market Plus Dining Updates

In this posting, we checked out a small local Farmer’s Market and we revisited 2 of our favorite local places for a casual meal…

This is the former combination Louisville and Nashville Railroad Depot in Greenback Tennessee.  It was built in 1914 and it served rail freight and passengers in the area until 1954.  It was restored for use as a community events center in the early 2010's and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.  It was a rainy day so I stayed under cover...
In this instance the community event was the weekly (in season) Farmer’s Market which takes place on Tuesdays from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Since we visited the market in mid-May, available produce was minimal.  Most of the market’s offerings consisted of handicrafts and miscellaneous food items.

Love the original old wide plank floors!  This is the upper level of the depot where the freight was handled.  It was higher than the passenger section so that freight cars could be loaded directly from the depot through the building’s sliding freight door.  

One vendor on this level was selling various types of lettuce and mixes of them as well.  The lady at the lower left was selling ready to eat pierogi, (aka pirogi, pirohy, pyrohy, or varenyky), and apple turnovers.  We bought 2 of varenyky for later.  They were pretty tasty too…

This is the lower portion of the depot… The passenger area was in this half of the building.  Most of the walls have been removed.  The space was originally divided into three sections: the colored waiting room in the southeast corner (still enclosed at the upper left), the general waiting room in the southwest corner, and the ticket agent's office adjacent to the waiting rooms.  A baggage area was positioned between the ticket office and the freight area.

Another lady on the lower level was selling bread and sweet rolls.  We bought a loaf of bread for the freezer as well as a loaf of cinnamon bread.  It was very tasty!  We did manage to avoid the sweet rolls…

William H. Jones, a Loudon County court clerk and local businessman, served as Greenback's station agent from 1910 until his death in 1954.  This included the entire period that the depot building was in use for its original purpose. Along with selling train tickets, Jones issued hunting, fishing and marriage licenses from his depot office.  As a county official, he officiated at more than 3,500 marriage ceremonies, many of them in the depot.  By the early 1950s, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad had ceased passenger service at Greenback, and operated only two freight lines a week to the town.  After Jones's death in 1954, the railroad closed the depot.

This is a close up of the items for sale at a booth selling handmade jewelry.  It was at north end of the market on the upper or freight level.   There were some nice imaginative creations…but Laurie resisted temptation!

This is a view of ‘downtown’ Greenback Tennessee from the cover of the overhanging roof on other side of the depot.  Greenback has a population of around 1,100.  The town was founded in 1883.  By the late 1890s, Greenback had three stores, a barbershop, blacksmith shop, school, livery stables, a hotel, and two baseball teams (segregated between white and black players).
The building behind that red SUV on the street is the Greenback Drug Company.  It opened in 1923.  The drugstore is long gone but the building has served as a community restaurant and diner for the past few decades. Locals still call it "the drugstore" and meet there for food and socializing.

Factoid: In 2011, H and R Block featured Greenback in its national advertising campaign.  The campaign, known as "Greenbacks for Greenback," included a review of many of the citizens' taxes - a program H and R Block calls "second look."  The campaign saved locals more than $14,000 in taxes.  The savings were revealed in a celebration with the community at Greenback School. Television, radio and print advertising featured the Greenback Depot, the Greenback Drugstore/Diner, Greenback School and the Greenback Historical Society as well as many people who call Greenback home.

Now on to recent experiences at a couple of local restaurants…

First, there was a return to China Pearl in Farragut Tennessee.  The Crab Rangoon ($5.75) were very nice.  They are one of Laurie’s favorite Asian appetizers.

I continue to be boring when I dine in Chinese restaurants.  I don’t like a lot of onion (texture issue) and I don’t like bell peppers or mushrooms.  I tend to play it safe.  This was my order of General Tso’s Chicken with broccoli. ($11.25)  I asked for it ‘extra spicy’ and the chef obliged.  It was just right!

This was Laurie’s Chicken in Szechuan Sauce. ($10.50) She likes it spicy too.  One of the reasons she ordered this dish is that it had celery in it…and one of her favorite Szechuan Chinese chicken dishes back up in Mt. Prospect Illinois also featured celery.

Laurie plated her Chicken in Szechuan sauce with part of our big bowl of rice so she could take this photo. 

We both really like the food at China Pearl.  It is under new ownership and everything has improved…the menu, food and service.  China Pearl Restaurant is in the Kroger Shopping Center right off of Kingston Pike (US Hwy 11) at 115 Brooklawn Street in Farragut Tennessee.  Phone: 865-966-6936.  Website:

Our next stop was at Fat Stacks Restaurant in Madisonville Tennessee.  One reason that we love Fat Stacks is that they serve breakfast anytime!  This time we were accompanied by friends and first time Fat Stacks diners Bev and Larry.  I will admit that I got a little nervous when they went for Tex-Mex style breakfasts.  After all, this is a local restaurant in Eastern Tennessee.  I didn’t know what to expect…

This was Bev’s Breakfast Fajita.  I don’t eat chunks of onion or green peppers so I would never order this.  However, both Bev and Larry love Mexican influenced breakfasts.  Much to our relief, Bev thought that this was pretty darn good! 

Larry ordered the Breakfast Burrito.  It’s all about the egg, beef, cheese and hash brown potato filling.  Larry said it was very good and I will admit that I might just give it a try the next time we stop at Fat Stacks.  I would add an over easy fried egg on top!

Laurie went for her standard breakfast but I ordered this hand-formed juicy cheeseburger.  I’d seen other diners order some good looking burgers and I thought that it was time for me to give one a try.  It was very good!

It’s hard to beat the value and the quality of the food at Fat Stacks.  I didn’t record the prices from this meal but on a previous visit Laurie ordered the Patty Melt with a 6 oz. super burger patty. ($5.00) With the fries, her meal totaled $6.00!  Fat Stacks is located at 4915 New Tennessee Highway 68 in Madisonville Tennessee.  Phone: 423-545-9540.  Fat Stack Restaurant is on Facebook at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I love Farmer's Markets, Dave! And the dishes look very nice! I love your posts. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. We have have since returned to Fat Stack's for another good meal